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Guessing the Prime Number Theorem and Treacherous Logic (Math Chat)

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Author:Frank Morgan, MAA Online
Description: The Prime Number theorem says that the probability P(x) that a large integer x is prime is about 1/log x. At about age 16 Gauss apparently conjectured this estimate after studying tables of primes. Greg Martin suggested to me a heuristic way to approach the same conjecture. Suppose that there is a nice probability function P(x) that a large integer x is prime... Challenge: (P and Q) => R if and only if (P => R) or (Q => R). Is this a logical truth?

Levels: High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Articles
Math Topics: Prime Numbers, Logic/Foundations, Probability

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